Interview with Janean Johnson

Launched in 2008, Janean Johnson, designer of JaJo Couture, established herself as one of the hot new designers to transcend the Houston Fashion Scene. While playing by her own rules, Janean's high energy designs personify her eclectic personality. JaJo Couture specializes in custom one of a kind womens' wear, catering to women of all shapes and sizes. Her collection is a combination of costuming, evening wear, and day wear and features fabrics such as silks, vinyl's, and polyesters. Janean does not work with PVC or latex, nor designs corsets or lingerie of any kind. JaJo Couture augments bold personalities with designs that elicit adventurous individuality.

How did you become an entrepreneur? When did you get started?

I have been an entrepreneur as a designers for about 2 years now. I decided to be a full time designer in 2008 because it was something I felt very passionate about.

What is your favorite aspect of being an entrepreneur?

That I can set my own hours and advancement is unlimited. I make the decisions and choices for my clothing line and it feels great to be my own boss. It's also a great feeling to be able to do something you love so much as a career and do it yourself.

What sacrifices have you had to make to be a successful entrepreneur?

I wouldn't really say I've had to make sacrifices because I wouldn't look at it that way. I look at it more like an experience. It's not easy to have a business, it's a lot of work and dedication. It may not work the way you want it but hard work and dedication will get you where you want to be.

What do you think is the major difference between entrepreneurs and those who work for someone else?

I think most people who work for someone else are more likely to want the safety net of knowing they are going to get the same pay check as long as they go to work. Entrepreneurs take more risks and would rather sacrifice that safety net to get to where they want to be.

What was the most crucial thing you have done to grow your business?

In all honestly it was participating in Project Ethos. That was a major jump for my clothing line to get its name out there. I've done other shows and I keep very busy but I consider Project Ethos a major advancement.

How do you define success?

I define success as being known for what you do. I'm to the point that its happening so I feel like I'm making my success in the industry.

How important have “good people” (partners and employees) been to the success of the company?

In my instance they have meant everything to me. If it wasn't for the wonderful people that I'm associated with I wouldn't be anywhere near the amount of success that I'm at right now. It takes more than one person to make a business successful.

Jeff Bezos once said that "If you do build a great experience, customers tell each other about that. Word of mouth is very powerful." What are your thoughts on that quote?

I believe in this more than anything, if you give someone a great experience they tell everyone about it. Word of mouth is probably the most powerful form a advertisement and feedback there is.

Donald Trump once said “Confidence can get you where you want to go, and getting there is a daily process. It’s so much easier when you feel good about yourself, your abilities and talents.” What are your thoughts on that quote?

This is very true. How can someone believe in what you're doing if you don't believe in it yourself? People are drawn to confidence and it does make it easier. I have been told I have a very confident presence and that people really like that. I just feel happy. I love what I do and I let it show every day to everyone.

Charles Schwab once said that "The man who does not work for the love of work but only for money is not likely to make money nor find much fun in life." What are your thoughts on that quote?

I don't believe in working just for the money. You have to put your heart and have love for what you do. The making money part is just a bonus to being able to make a living from what you love.

Excluding yours, what business or company do you admire?

I admire companies who have dedication and a love to do something different. I have to really admire Project Ethos in California and A.S Houston Recording Studios in Texas. I love their ideas because they are different, they stand out in the crowd. They are hard working and it shows they love what they do and I find that very important.

What advice would you give an entrepreneur who is just starting out?

I would say don't give up, if you have your heart in what you do it will happen. It just takes hard work and dedication. Your network and support group are key as well.



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